People at the top say contentment is success - GulfToday

People at the top say contentment is success


(Left to right): Amanda Duncan, Yazen Al Kodmani, Melissa Forti, Sally Bee, and Bobby Chinn.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Contentment is happiness and success, according to people who have reached the pinnacle of their careers.

Gulf Today met them recently as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close while achievements and mental health were discussed at a “Mindfulness” gathering held in Dubai for the first time over the weekend.

Chilean Maria Morales and her husband shifted to the UAE eight years back where it was confirmed she was stricken with cancer of the breast.

Morales, for 15 years was a  “workaholic” in the taxing Advertising world wherein she became a heavy smoker who wore a   “mask” (layers of make-up), and gratified herself with 1,000 pairs of footwear complete with matching bags of various shape and size.

It was in Dubai where she opted for the double mastectomy; the surgery, to her understanding, would be for her own good and in order to arrest the further growth of cancer cells.

“My husband and I talked about it (lengthily). I even told him he was free if he could not accept it.”

Morales who described herself as a fighter instead of a survivor is now a health coach.

“It used to be a toxic life. I had to put up with everyone and everything. Then the realization. We do not even own a car now. You come to love life without stressing yourself. You learn to be contented and happy. It is that simple.”

With Morales at the breast cancer awareness talk in Ghaya Grand Hotel late last week was fashion model, Uzbek, Max Fardan.

Fardan moved to Dubai and only informed his wife back home of his real situation as advised by his doctor.

“Sickness will not stop you from living. It is the start of something new. We have to embrace it so we become more positive.”

At the “Gather By JW” in JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, panel moderator Sally Bee, health and well-being motivational speaker/cookbooks author/mother of three, anchored the discussion on success.

The panelists eventually clubbed success, contentment, positivity and happiness when this reporter asked them about their take on mental health and depression due to the pervading materialism.

Emirates Bio-Farm general manager/local organic farmer Yazen Al Kodmani: “I sleep eight hours a day. I listen more to podcast because I could not work so much with music. I learn a lot from podcast. Happiness is welcoming people to the farm. You see them having missed nature so much. They love nature. They want to be with nature. I am not so much into social media. (But I engage well) with my family and friends.”

MBC’s “Top Chef Middle East/restaurateur/award-winning TV personality/cookbook author Bobby Chinn: “I do not have problem. I lie in bed for so long. I walk a lot. At a turbulent flight, I learnt to accept death. I do not have a house. It is doing the right thing. It is not the Michelin. There are people who jump out of buildings in expensive clothes.”

International pastry chef/entrepreneur/book author Melissa Forti: “I wake up every day. Every day is a good thing. Each new day is the best day. I live close to the countryside (in Italy where there is a farm of free-range chicken and fresh eggs). When it is time to rest, I do rest. I cry. I stay away from the social media even though there is pressure from people who say it would be good (exposure for myself and my career).”

Phoenix Rising co-founder/Advanced Yoga & Pilates instructor Amanda Duncan: “It is giving consideration and importance to my clients who include children between the ages of 14 and 18 who complain of low back pain, shoulder injury, shoulder and neck pain. They have concave backs because of the gadgets. We all want to be needed. We all want to be useful.”

From moderator Bee: “I suffered three heart attacks (years ago). I am now 52. Take from the past experiences. Happiness and success come with age.”

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